I've been reading #exfiles since it started trending and honestly some of the stories make me lose so much faith in love and also human beings in general.
I feel like I need to go read tons of positive articles to rid my mind of the negativity after each of my reading sprees. Hahaha.
It just so happened that I was doing some virtual spring cleaning for my personal Gmail inbox a couple of days back and I found an email which I sent out, almost a year after the breakup.
I thought I wasn't gonna contribute anything to this hashtag since my dayre is a public platform (more so since most of my followers know me and know the work I do) and generally I don't feel so comfortable in sharing about matters when it comes to relationships.
But we're both in good places now and I thought this should be fine since it is going to be a rather positive post.
Mm, sorry to disappoint but my post ain't gonna be juicy. 🙃
I couldn't even remember what I wrote in that email prior to reading it, actually. The feeling I got after rereading that email is a little hard to describe.
I think wistful would be the closest description.
It was an email from me, thanking him for everything that he has done for us. I think it was written and sent out shortly after we both agreed to move on properly from each other's lives.
The thing about past relationships.
They don't always have to leave a black mark in your life even if they ended badly.
They teach you lessons how to love and in turn, you learn how you want to be loved. You learn what you want in your next partner. You find out what you can and cannot accept in a relationship. You see with brighter eyes your own flaws as an individual and also as a partner.
And these are the few lessons I drew from spending close to 9 years in a relationship.
Never stop working on the small things, the everyday things. Never stop appreciating each other. Never stop being interesting to each other. Never take each other's love for granted.
📃 "With you, it was the small things that mattered, the same small things that I have took for granted gradually as the years went by. Slowly, we stopped putting in effort and let the relationship dwindle away. It was a slow realisation but eventually it broke us apart."
Now I read back on the email… Lolol like yi ge emo. But I really meant every word inside la. I still do.
Love is a continuous effort and a constant work in progress. 🛠 You change over time, so does he. As time goes by, you could be dating a whole different person from who you started out with.
It's easy to take the small things that your partner do for you for granted when you get comfortable.
It's easy to stop putting in effort because you feel like the relationship is stable.
It's so easy to stop working for someone who is always there, that you might not realise that the relationship is slowly slipping away.
I'm not the best at sharing about the small details of my day and communicating my thoughts.
I used to really dislike phone calls (because lazy to talk + cannot multitask LOL) and I'm a very text kinda person while he's not.
It's very "me" to tend to keep everything inside because I'm so comfortable when I don't have to talk. For real. Hahahah.
It really takes some getting used to but it's essential for any healthy relationship, so this communication thing is something that I'm slowly learning.
That sometimes, some things aren't worth the fight. Always be the first to say sorry.
This I gotta admit, he does really well at.
He was almost always the bigger person who gave in more while I was the spoilt girl who found that sorry was the hardest word to say. My ego was a tad too big, and temper too quick.
But through him, I realise that you gotta put the relationship first.
Relationship > whatever stupid things you're fighting over.
As the years go by, I've learnt to brush my ego aside and hardly anything gets me riled up anymore. ✌️🏻 am a very chill person now but I'm sorry that he bore the brunt of it.
Although I always tell him that it's his karma for something that he did to me during the first year we were together. LOL. But anyway.
In this, he made me a better person. I'm quite tame now. 😸 I think even he wouldn't believe it.
Since we're on the topic of fighting right…
Never, ever ever everrrr fight or show your unhappiness in public.
I remember there was once, just once, probably 4-5 years back?
We were having an argument at Vivocity (lolol my memory can be amazingly good sometimes) and both our faces were DAMN black. We didn't raise our voices at each other but you can just tell at one glance, from our facial expressions and body language that we were fighting.
The quarrel got resolved and when I got home, I saw that a follower left a comment on my livejournal, saying that she saw us fighting at Vivocity.
From then on…… Hahaha. No more fights/arguments in public places! Our fights also got noticeably less frequent as the years go by, so this didn't pose a big problem.
Now I don't even remember what the fight was about. Probably petty like most quarrels are. 🙃
And also, I'm sorry I forgot to warn you that this post is one hella wordy leh hahaha. Brace yourselves ah.
Nobody can come in between you if what you have is solid.
This is what I firmly believe in. If someone truly loves you, there will be no room for temptations and whatnot.
When someone loves you, you will always be the best that he/she has got. Thinking back, I'm amazed that how nobody even came close to this bubble that we've built around us.
I didn't have to worry about finding scandalous texts from other girls in his phone.
He didn't have to worry about guy friends trying to be more than friends with me.
I always thought that it was because people know that we're a couple so nobody even tried.
But reading all the #exfiles stories out there..
Hmm. It seems that temptations are all around and it seems too common for people to give in and succumb to them. For us, it never came up as a problem.
It takes two hands for a clap to sound. So if your relationship crumbles beneath the presence of third parties… Then none of it is not worth it anyway.
Walk away with your self worth and dignity intact.
In a relationship, action speaks louder than words.
He was never really good with words or a person of many words. 💬💬💬
But his love was made visible through actions and the things he did for me. You know how some guys are so smooth and so good with words? It's not a necessary a bad thing la. But you gotta spot the red flag waving when they consistently don't/cannot deliver what they say.
Take words with a pinch of salt.
Don't listen to what they say they will do for you, observe and see what they really, actually do for you.
Lol sorry this grandmother's 👵🏽 story really a bit long. Brb going for a quick workout sesh!!
A good relationship has to be two whole individuals coming together, not two halves coming together to form a whole.
Your lives will eventually mesh and your friends will be his friends, and vice versa. That's perfectly okay.
But even as a couple, don't lose sense of who you are as an individual. Don't be that person who abandons your friends when you're head over heels in a relationship.
Oh shit hahah I'm aware that this is starting to sound like those elitedaily articles but I think sometimes those articles actually make a lot of sense lolol. 😂
But anyway. Say for real.
Don't stop working on yourself even when you're in a good relationship. Have your own happy life and the rest will follow.
If there is no trust, you have nothing.
Trust, to me, is one of the most fundamental blocks of a relationship. Any kind of relationship, but especially more so when it comes to love.
If you don't trust your partner, the relationship becomes a source of stress and it shouldn't be this way. Your partner should be one who can help shoulder your burdens, not become part of your worries.
When we were still good together, I could fully concentrate on TTR without having to fret over unnecessary things when it comes to relationship.
It was unconditional trust and something that I've grown to value a lot in my relationships with people now.
Not everyone knows how to love you the way you want them to. But that doesn't mean they love you any lesser.
We spoke entirely different languages when it came to love. (If you don't know about the 5 love languages, Google!)
To me this is something that's important. Different people show affection in different ways. Your partner might feel that he is showering you with love but you might not feel it at all. It takes concerted effort for both parties to learn to speak in each other's "languages" and it was not easy at all.
My love languages are quality time and physical touch while his are entirely opposite.
It took us a while to figure out why we weren't feeling each other's affection sometimes, and it was also something that we neglected to work on even towards the end.
Too many words on this page but bear with me… I'm getting there soon okay!!
You can read this as bedtime story if you want. Confirm sleep very well. 😌
That real love is never easy. But it's possible as long as you have faith.
📃 "People disappoint each other all the time and that is human nature. But thinking back, you have always given me your best when we were together, and have never disappointed or let me down in any way. There were times when I was wilful, demanding and unreasonable but yet you loved me through it all, despite and in spite of my many flaws. Thank you for your unfailing belief in me and for supporting me through all of life’s problems."
Another emo excerpt from the email. Lolol.
Some people come into your life as blessings and some people as lessons.
And there there are some people who come into your life as both. :')
Some people tell me that it's a waste of 9 years and a whole lot of youth to spend on somebody for something to come to naught, and I used to think so.
But not anymore. Especially after reading #exfiles. Hahaha.
The lessons that I've learnt from this 1/3 of my life definitely shaped my take on relationships, built standards and expectations for me in a positive way and from here on, I know deep within me how the right kind of love should feel like.